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Hogo, Rum, Latino, and Tropical Drinks Bar at 7th and L St NW, From the Owners of The Passenger - With Rotating Chefs

Mount Vernon Square Bar Tiki Bar Rum Rotating Chefs

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#1 SeanMike

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:52 PM

Hogo, the new bar at 1017 7th St NW, on the opposite side of BicycleSPACE from the Passenger, opens up tonight at 5.

They'll be doing a rotating schedule of chefs in there. Currently Javier, from the Passenger, is cooking Hawaiian food there.

GET THERE AND EAT IT BECAUSE IT'S FREAKING DELICIOUS AND WILL BE GONE SOON.

Also, 75 kinds of rum, great tiki drinks, awesome decor, seriously just go down there.

I've been twice in the last three nights and I can't stop thinking about going again.


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#2 thistle

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

This place looks amazing-I am a rum & tiki fiend, & if I lived a bit closer, I think I would become a fixture...it'll be interesting to see who they add to their rotating food lineup...

#3 DaRiv18

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:13 PM

Stopped by last night, enjoyed it, everyone should go like SeanMike says. Seriously, Tom Brown always mixes quality with a fun atmosphere and Hogo is no exception. I think I like the decor better here than at the Passenger (assuming that the Passenger tries to have decor). The seating looks to be a bit more comfortable, and isn't going for that divey look the way the Passenger goes for. So basically, a bit more civilized looking but still with an edge.

Much like the Columbia Room is a bar within a bar (ie, the Passenger), the open kitchen in the back features a diner counter with 8+ stools and may have also have a separate bar menu in the near future? Brightly lit, with a greasy spoon sort of vibe, I look forward to seeing some of the guest chefs in action there.

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#4 cheezepowder

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:23 PM

I love cocktails, but what I'm really excited about are the food and rotating chefs they'll have. New food, even better if it's experimental, makes it fun to go back to try new things. The back counter (described in above post) is set off as a bright, separate room/area from the darkly lit bar area. The loco moco (I got the beef patty but you have a choice of fried fish instead, topped with a fried egg and sausage gravy (you have a choice of gravies) with a side scoop of rice and macaroni salad) was good in a bad-for-you kind of way. The back counter offered a limited choice of cocktails like a classic dacquiri.

#5 Albert Yi

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:42 PM

How busy is this place right now? I was thinking of check it out this Friday but if it takes me an hour to get a seat I may not bother.

#6 cheezepowder

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:09 PM

I've only been once, and it only opened earlier this week, so hard to say how busy it'll be tomorrow? On my weekday visit relatively early in the evening, the front bar was pretty busy and the back diner area had lots of open seats.

#7 DonRocks

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

Here are the articles that I can find about Hogo:

12/10 "The Passenger Owners To Open Rum Bar and Restaurant Called Hogo" - Jessica Sidman, Washington City Paper
12/11 "New 7th Street Bar May Be Short-Lived Due To Upcoming Douglas Construction" - Aaron Wiener, Washington City Paper
12/12 "Some Clarity On The Future Of The Passenger And Hogo" - Aaron Wiener, Washington City Paper
12/18 "We Love Drinks: Hogo Preview" - Fedward Potz, WeLoveDC.com

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#8 Sableberg

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:27 PM

Stopped by yesterday evening around 6:30 and had a lovely time. The Passenger was beyond standing room only but Hogo had seats available at the bar and at a few tables. Service was excellent, prices were fair, and the vibe was great. I had a pisco punch (in a tiki mug!) and my friend had the "Queen's Royale", with domaine de canton and sparkling wine. We did not eat, but the folks next to us had the noodle bowl, which looked delicious.

#9 TinaWDC

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

Unexpectedly stopped in, and decided to try the food since its currently hawaiian themed. We sat in the open kitchen in the back, brightly lit diner counter style seating. Music ranged from bossa nova to black sabbath.

We ordered the moco loco with fried mahi mahi and an order of spam musubi. We did not order any drinks but they do serve in the back. I got the impression that there were different drink selections depending on if you sat in the front room vs. the back room.

The presentation on the spam musubi was terrific. They were seasoned with soy/teriyaki sauce and nori furikake, more rice than spam per bite, accompanied by wasabi mayo. The loco moco with fried mahi was great. I thought the mahi was perfectly fried, lightly breaded, tender, moist and flaky, with a fresh taste. Would have preferred fried/sunny-side up eggs over the omelet style that was served.

Would have tried more food, but it was an unplanned stop, so will try to go back again before they rotate out the chef/menu. And to check out the cocktail too!

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#10 SeanMike

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:12 AM

I got the impression that there were different drink selections depending on if you sat in the front room vs. the back room.


That's true - they have different beers back there, and a more limited selection of liquor and glasses.

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#11 discojing

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:36 PM

Hogo seems to take some of the crowd off of the Passenger.

That being said, the seating situation was a big problem since people tend to stay for a long amount of time and larger groups would take chairs and add them to booths, leaving many tables without chairs (rendering them useless). I had 3 drinks here and they were pretty good! I'm up for the Passenger's Tiki Tuesday every day :) The Singapore Sling, Tom's Punch, and Queen's Royale were all citrus-y, fresh, and light without being too sweet. I was interested in a change of pace after having *just* tiki drinks, but they have beer too! My favorite was Tom's Punch because of the falernum. It seems to be polarizing where some people hate it and some love it, but I love it. It's funky and spicy, right up my alley.

More importantly (and the main reason I went) was the Hawai'ian food. My family used to own a Sai Min restaurant on Maui and I've been hurting for some ono grindz in these parts. Sadly, Lani Kai closed in NYC before I could go and Hula Girl is a bit expensive and hard to get to, though the musubi is good. We got the kalua mix plate (kahlua pork, kalbi, mac salad rice) and the miso sai min. The kalbi was a bit gristly and hard to eat, but the pork was good - wish there was more of it. The sai min was small but satisfying. I would have wished for some char siu instead of pork belly, but the fat in the pork belly was rendered very well.

I can't wait and see what pops up here after Hogo!

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#12 Albert Yi

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:37 PM

When it's not too crowded, this bar is amazing. I was sipping a Jasper's Jamaican, an incredibly fragrant drink that features a single floating star anise. I felt golden.

I don't think the food quite lives up to the quality of the cocktails though. I had the burger loco moco and while it was tasty I felt like it's main purpose was to soak up the alcohol.

#13 SeanMike

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

Several of us got a shout-out from Eater today:

http://dc.eater.com/...wns-rum-bar.php

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#14 mdt

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

When it's not too crowded, this bar is amazing. I was sipping a Jasper's Jamaican, an incredibly fragrant drink that features a single floating star anise. I felt golden.

I don't think the food quite lives up to the quality of the cocktails though. I had the burger loco moco and while it was tasty I felt like it's main purpose was to soak up the alcohol.


Not sure what you were expecting, but the mahi loco moco was tasty and the fish fried quite well. I also had a taste of the miso samin which I gladly eat a bowl of on my next visit.

It will be interesting to see what future chefs produce in the space.

#15 DonRocks

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

When it's not too crowded, this bar is amazing. I was sipping a Jasper's Jamaican, an incredibly fragrant drink that features a single floating star anise. I felt golden.

I don't think the food quite lives up to the quality of the cocktails though. I had the burger loco moco and while it was tasty I felt like it's main purpose was to soak up the alcohol.

Not sure what you were expecting, but the mahi loco moco was tasty and the fish fried quite well. I also had a taste of the miso samin which I gladly eat a bowl of on my next visit.

It will be interesting to see what future chefs produce in the space.


Not having been here, I can only go by what I see on the menu, and I also would guess that the food does not live up to the quality of the cocktails (and will be surprised if it does). That's by no means a slam which is why I'm surprised that Albert's rather benign comment got questioned, but I also trust Mike's palate, so there it is.

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#16 SeanMike

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

I had the burger loco moco and while it was tasty I felt like it's main purpose was to soak up the alcohol.


That's been my running joke on all of my experiences with Hawaiian food (errr, here, and one place in Cali) that I've had...

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#17 cheezepowder

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:30 PM

My takeaways from this article:
http://www.readexpre...of-the-tropics/

I have until the end of the month to get more spam musubi and to try the mixed grill

Go back after Feb 1 to see about this Jewish soul food.

#18 goodeats

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

Mentioned on wtop by Nycci Nellis! Cheezepowder--you might want to move up your trip now...

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#19 hmmboy

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:22 PM

Swung by on Tuesday night to check the place out. Had the Tom's Punch, which I loved (it could become habit forming) and a delicious bowl of ramen - not  a huge bowl but it was a steal at $9 with rich broth and fantastic pork. I enjoyed the chill vibe as well as my chat with talented bartender Danny. They serve food on weeknights till 1AM - there is very little  anywhere downtown at midnite of the quality level of the bowl of ramen I had so I expect this to be a very busy bar, with a healthy late night industry contingent. Very impressed.


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#20 SeanMike

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

If you follow their Facebook page, they posted a picture of the menu last night. Also, according to Tom, if you'd like a vegetarian option they'll serve the salmon mixed plate sans, well, salmon. So lots of veggie tempura.


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#21 collije

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:30 PM

Sat in the front bar on Saturday night, really good time.

 

Wanted to checkout the food before they moved the menu to 'Jewish comfort food' that's being introduced this week. Had a similar reaction to the Kalua Mix Plate as discojing (kalbi a little gristly, overall liked the dish).

 

Cocktail were tasty. Did a mix of their preformatted cocktails, and did some off-menu ones as well (they don't have a full spirits selection, it just depends on what you want). Bartenders in the front bar were fun and sociable. I thought I'd see more hipster-y folks bombard the place, but not that night. Really eclectic mix, not remotely slammed when I was there. Enjoyable night.



#22 DCDuck

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

We stopped in on Friday night and really enjoyed the place. All of our cocktails were fantastic, which is pretty much what we were expecting. And the food was quite good, particularly for bar food.  The standout for all of us was the spam musubi, which I could have eaten fifty pieces of. 



#23 cheezepowder

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:39 PM

News that Rose's Luxury is popping up at Hogo in March.



#24 ad.mich

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

The Spam Musubi comes out warm.  The mac salad actually has seasoning besides mayo.  The saimin isn't greasy.  At the risk of being blasphemous I would say this cheffy, 'bar food' take on Hawaiian food is better than all the places I've hit up on the west coast and most of the ones I've tried in Hawaii itself.  Cheffing things up does this food a lot of good, and I'm going to be sad to see this menu go.

 

Jewish soul food sounds awesome though, and if Yuji Ramen still makes the stop that was mentioned when Hogo opened, it's going to be bananas when he is here.

 

Oh and drinks? I like Tom's Punch if you have a crew (and don't have an early wake up call), and the Jungle Bird for a non punchbowl something that isn't super sweet - campari and rum are actually awesome together. To be honest though, the last few times I've been in here I'm just asking them to pour me a new rum so I can keep trying and learning from that back wall.  Between here and next door it is a non stop dark liquor education.

 

Last few times... ugh, how many days has this place been open? 


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#25 Gadarene

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:26 PM

I'm going again tonight.  I really enjoyed the miso saimin the first time I was there, and the drinks were very tasty.  I'm interested to see how much off-menu ordering one could do in terms of other tiki drinks, as there are a few standbys I've had in other places (and made myself) that I would love to see their spin on.



#26 DCDuck

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

On off-menu ordering, I got the sense that they would accommodate you if they had the ingredients and had the time to make it happen. My friend really wanted a Blue Hawaiian for his birthday when we were in, the waitress said she would ask, and ultimately they made him his drink.



#27 ad.mich

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

I'm going again tonight.  I really enjoyed the miso saimin the first time I was there, and the drinks were very tasty.  I'm interested to see how much off-menu ordering one could do in terms of other tiki drinks, as there are a few standbys I've had in other places (and made myself) that I would love to see their spin on.

 

For what it's worth... I have heard the bartenders explain while I was there that they are actively trying to avoid the same kind of "consultation, then creation" style of ordering cocktails by riffing that they encourage at The Passenger. 

 

Ordering off menu drinks by name, however, will probably depend on the individual and how busy they are.  


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#28 DaRiv18

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:26 PM

If by "standbys" you really mean generally accepted classics, then it shouldn't be an issue. Like, I'm 99% sure you could order a daiquiri or Mai Tai anytime and they'd give it to you. 80% sure Zombies and Suffering Bastards too. But involved tiki recipes or Stump the Bartender requests, then you probably need favorable conditions, I agree with DCDuck and ad.mich.

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#29 Gadarene

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

Thanks for the responses, everyone.  I was definitely referring more to the "I feel like a Zombie" kind of whim and not as much to the "Hey, could you make me something interesting with apricot, passion fruit, and cinnamon?"  I'd expect them to have a decent base knowledge of tiki drinks of yore, and it's good to hear that they probably do.

 

At it turned out, I wasn't able to make it to Hogo last night, but I might be going tonight.  If it's not too busy I'll order a Zombie and report back with results.



#30 SeanMike

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:49 PM

News that Rose's Luxury is popping up at Hogo in March.

 

From what I've been told it looks like March will have two different pop-ups - I'd elaborate further, but I need to make sure it's cool to do so first.


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#31 Gadarene

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:34 PM

Closing the loop on this, both the Mai Tai and the Zombie that the bartender was gracious enough to make for me last night were absolutely delicious.



#32 Choirgirl21

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:39 PM

Oh man, wish I had seen this sooner. This totally jives with my current interest in learning more about cocktails (both drinking to expand my taste encyclopedia :P and learning how to make them) and the recent rum tasting I did where I got to try a variety of aged, spiced, etc. rums side by side. I have a new appreciation for the spirit. Putting this on my calendar for March, post 30 day drinking ban.


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#33 kwhitney

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

Too late Choirgirl. This is a pop-up and it will be gone by March.



#34 DCDuck

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:28 PM

Too late Choirgirl. This is a pop-up and it will be gone by March.

 

Only the food portion is a pop-up. The current Hawaiian food will stop being served at the end of this month (I believe) and will be replaced with a different concept, which I believe is Jewish soul food. Hogo will continue to serve delicious rum drinks throughout.



#35 cheezepowder

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

Derek Brown announced that the Jewish soul food at Hogo starts on Feb. 12.  He also posted pictures of the food on his twitter @betterdrinking -- looks pretty good.

 

 

 



#36 hillvalley

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:26 PM

Holy shit!  Look at those gribenes.


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#37 kwhitney

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:26 AM

Hogo will continue to serve delicious rum drinks throughout.

Thanks for this, I assumed the tiki drinks would leave with the Hawaiian food. I wonder how rum will go with chicken livers., and matzoh ball soup



#38 cheezepowder

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:38 AM

Hogo tweeted a picture of their new Jewish menu that starts today.



#39 ad.mich

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:46 AM

Tried a few things off the new menu last night.  The brisket sandwich comes on an awesome challah roll but had more horseradish slaw than meat.  Good flavor on each ingredient individually there, but the horseradish flavor dominates a little too much for my taste.  On the other hands, the stuffed cabbage was a killer plate of food, sweet and sour sauce with a really intense meat stuffing.  I know there were some upturned eyebrows around at the idea of calling this menu 'Jewish Soul Food', but this is pretty damn soulful stuff on a cold February evening.  Finally, I tried the pickled tongue sandwich.  It came on a cranberry nut bread that threw some people at my table for a loop but personally I loved it.  Thin sliced and not too overwhelming with the pickled flavors (and it went surprisingly well with a rum drink).  


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#40 SeanMike

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

I was there last night, too!

 

Babaghanoush - I really enjoyed it, though I'm not a sprouts guy, so I was trying to keep the two from mixing.

Cracklins - definitely crack. Took a while for the fryer to get up to temp for them though (so it took a while to get them).

Pickles - Tons of beets, which I'm not a huge fan of. Two different kind of cucumber ones, I really wanted to make a Hendricks gin and tonic and use the longer, less pickled cucumber one for a garnish. :D

Knishes - delicious.

Stuffed cabbage - awesome.


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#41 DCDuck

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:40 PM

Agree on the cracklins, they are ridiculously good.  I also loved the smoked whitefish salad sandwich.  The pickles were just ok in my opinion.



#42 DCDuck

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 02:43 PM

Ate at Hogo last night to try out the preview of Rose's Luxury, and in my opinion it is the best overall food that Hogo has featured to date.  Because we had five people, we just ordered everything on the menu and went at it. Because of a couple of specials, they had taken one or two regular items off, and offered to serve us the Carmelized Cauliflower with Greek Yogurt as well, which we accepted gladly. We also received complimentary dessert, which was vanilla ice cream, vanilla crumble and olive oil. Not sure if everybody gets dessert, or if we were singled out because we ordered a ton and/or live on Capitol Hill. 

 

The favorites for our table were the Pork and Lychee Salad, the Crispy Goat with Goat Milk Ricotta, and the Kusshi Oysters with Dark and Stormy Granita, although there wasn't a bad thing on the entire menu. I also really enjoyed the Foie Gras French Toast, which seemed as if it were designed specifically for me, with Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream and a bourbon salt. That dish might have been a touch too sweet, but it was still delicious.  The closest thing to a miss on the menu was the Popcorn Soup. I think this dish would work better as a lobster dish with a popcorn sauce instead, although I can imagine that would change the price point rather substantially. 

 

Anyhow, I'd strongly recommend heading to Hogo in the next five days to check out their food.  From our conversations with the folks from Rose's Luxury they plan now on opening in July as the build-out and permitting have delayed their original plans.



#43 SeanMike

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:49 PM

If you follow Derek (or me, as I re-tweeted) on Twitter, he posted pictures of what's coming up next: my friend chef Ed Hardy's Swedish cooking, including pickled herring and a salmon BLT.

 

I'm hoping to hit Hogo tomorrow to check out the current menu, after my exam.


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#44 DCDuck

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:59 PM

I did see that, the food looks delicious. I'll be sad to see this menu go, but am looking forward to the next chapter. Which has been the case each time with Hogo.

 

One small Hogo quibble, would like to see them change up the drink menu periodically. Not drastically, but some new/different drinks would be welcome, particularly when sitting at tables. When you're at the bar you can interact directly with the bartenders and have them put something together for you, but that's not a good option when you're at a table. 



#45 collije

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:16 PM

Good feedback, I've not been back in the past 2 weeks. Will have to try some dishes before the next menu changeover

#46 Gadarene

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:53 PM

The pork fat pho, the fried chicken, and the foie gras french toast are all pretty stupendous.  Make sure to catch them while they're here.



#47 turbogrrl

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:11 PM

My current ordering of the menu by favorites is:

 

1. pork + lychee salad

2. foie gras french toast

3. pork fat pho

4. fried chicken

 

It's a pretty narrow spread; they are all awesome. The secret banh mi I saw someone eating yesterday also looked fabulous, but was so secret it was the only one left. :cries:


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#48 SeanMike

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:50 AM

I ate there the last couple of nights, and while I found the food all good, none of it blew me away.

 

As for the drink menu, I'd heard rumor that they'll be changing it up a bit soon, but don't know the timeframe. I also know with the Swedish food next week that Ed was hoping to have some aquavit drinks added...don't know the status of those off the top of my head either.


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#49 DaRiv18

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

I ate there the last couple of nights, and while I found the food all good, none of it blew me away.

 

Sorry to hear this.  I am very interested to see how Rose's Luxury will do, given all the Suna drama.  Similar concept, similar location.  Not sure if it's molecular dining again, but still cutting edge. 


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#50 sklarithy

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 03:16 PM

Not similar concept at all.  Suna was tasting menu.  Rose's you'll choose what you want from each section of the menu.  Suna was modern gastronomy, Rose's will be comfort with Asian influences.  You'll leave stuffed after Rose's.







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